Since the kitchen is the main living space of every home, isn't it worth investing the time to choose the style that's right for you? Here is a small sampling of some of the most popular styles you can choose from to create a unique, yet functional kitchen — traditional, country, contemporary, rustic, Arts & Crafts and Old World.
Traditional Kitchen Styles
Traditional kitchens blend the formal and elegant look characteristic of American and European homes from the 18th and 19th century designs. You can expect to see crown and rope molding, fluting, corbels and other ornamentation and trim. The cabinets are generally made from cherry, walnut and mahogany wood and feature raised panel doors. It's also common to see the cabinets painted in white. The fixtures and appliances are generally antique looking. One of the great advantages of having a traditional kitchen is that never goes out of style, however you may want to spice up your appliances or furnishings over time.
Country Kitchen Styles
Country kitchens are warm and welcoming, with light and/or bright colors, painted and glazed cabinets, floral motifs and decorative shelving and molding. There are many different twists to the country kitchen - French, English, Farmhouse, Cottage, etc. You can expect to see beadboard wainscoting and paneling, painted, glazed and distressed cabinets. It's also common to leave the cabinet doors open to display colorful dishes to add to the dÃ©cor. Hand-painted tiles and butcher block make great additions to the countertop. The key ingredient to a great country kitchen is keeping it simple with well-chosen accents like potted herbs in the window, throw rugs on the wood or natural tile floors, chintz and calico window treatments.
Contemporary Kitchen Styles
Contemporary kitchens are typically described as modern with simple and clean architectural lines and minimal personal touches and decorative elements. The materials associated with contemporary kitchens are man-made rather than natural — stainless steel, laminate, glass, concrete, chrome and lacquer. Contemporary styles are influenced by Europe, particularly Italy, Germany and Scandinavia.
If you want to make your kitchen look sleek and streamlined while still having a touch of coziness and livability you can mix subtle woods like birch, ash or maple with some sort of metal like copper, brass, pewter, chrome or stainless steel on surfaces like your countertops, floors and cabinet doors.
Rustic Kitchen Styles
You'll generally find rustic kitchens influenced from areas like the Adirondack and Pacific Northwest or resembling log cabins. Rustic kitchens are generally full of wood: knotty pine, hickory and alder woods. Wood paneling is favored over traditional wall coverings and there are always exposed ceiling beams, leather beams and accents done in warm, rich earth tones.
Arts & Crafts Kitchen Styles
Grounded in form and function, Arts & Crafts kitchens (also known as Mission style) rely on the natural look with a strong emphasis on craftsmanship. The use and design of wood is essential in an Arts & Crafts kitchen. You'll find recessed panel doors with thick frames, flush frame cabinetry, hand-carved corbels and wood brackets. For an interesting accent, contrast the finishes or woods of the frame against the door and panel. Other trademarks of this style are stylized wallpaper, textiles, Tiffany-styled lighting, and a kitchen island with carved legs instead of a cabinet.
Old World Kitchen Styles
Large cooking hearths, stonewalls and floors and distressed, unfitted cabinets generally categorize Old World kitchens. The cabinetry is generally painted with raised panels and features elements like cracking, beadboard, dish and cup racks, valence legs, flushed toes, and bun feet. For accents expect to see the use of pewter, copper, mosaic tiles and brick walls. Appliances are generally hidden behind wooden panels. For a softer, more feminine design you'll want to check out Tuscan designs, which rely on light earth tones and natural materials.